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Local View: After Summer Internship, I’m a Believer in PolyMet

The following article was originally published in the Duluth News Tribune. It is the story of Mikayla Mellesmoen, who is studying environmental science at Mankato State University. Ms. Mellesmoen had a summer internship with PolyMet, where she worked closely with the environmental compliance team taking water samples, monitor gas vents, and assess the water levels in the area surrounding the mine. When you hear “PolyMet,” what comes to mind? Growing up in Embarrass, I heard the mining company’s name in conversation quite frequently but never beyond that it might open the first copper-nickel mine in Minnesota. With little foundational knowledge of...

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Trump Issues Executive Order to Support American Mining

Last week, President Trump issued an executive order designed to support the American mining industry and support the processing of these minerals in the United States. The administration released the following fact sheet: SECURING SUPPLY CHAINS: President Donald J. Trump is taking further action to ensure that our economic prosperity and national security do not depend on imports from our adversaries. Today, President Trump is signing an Executive Order and declaring a National Emergency to expand the domestic mining industry, support mining jobs, alleviate unnecessary permitting delays, and reduce our Nation’s dependence on China for critical minerals. The Order begins the...

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What’s Wrong with Wind and Solar?

Regular readers of Center of the American Experiment understand that wind and solar are expensive, unreliable, and they require massive amounts of metals to generate just a fraction of the energy that we derive from oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear power. Mark Mills of the Manhattan Institute is one of the leading researchers exploring the environmental impacts of wind and solar, and the amount of mining that would be required to be conducted if we were to try and implement the Green Dream, or whatever it's called. Enjoy the video from PragerU. https://youtu.be/RqppRC37OgI...

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DFL State Central Committee Formally Supports A Moratorium Banning Copper-Nickel Mining in Minnesota

Last weekend, the DFL State Central Committee officially adopted a resolution calling for a moratorium banning copper-nickel mining projects in Minnesota, according to the DFL Environmental Caucus's Facebook page. The move is the latest sign that the policies endorsed by the party are moving further toward the agenda's of urban environmentalists and further away from the rural roots of the party that support farmers and laborers. The move is also the latest sign the energy and environmental policies of the party are moving further and further away from reality. Not only does the party platform now officially oppose copper-nickel mining, something mining...

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Pro-mining DFL senator ousted in August 11 primary

Pro-mining DLFers in Minnesota lost an ally yesterday, as State Senator Erik Simonson lost his primary race to anti-mining political newcomer, Jen McEwen. The results of this primary, along with the replacement of Senator Tom Bakk with Susan Kent as the DFL minority leader, clearly show that the party is moving further away from its roots in rural farming and labor issues, toward favoring urban environmentalists. According to the Duluth News Tribune: The debate over whether copper-nickel sulfide deposits should be mined in the Northland has loomed large in the campaign. "I've tried to come at this from a practical, common-sense standpoint and...

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How Much Metal Would A Minnesota Green New Deal Require? Part Two

Last week I wrote about how converting Minnesota's electrical grid to a combination of nearly 100 percent wind, solar, and battery storage would consume enormous quantities of copper, nickel, cobalt, iron, and steel. While that analysis determined that huge amounts of these metals would be needed for "green" electricity, it is important to remember that electricity is only part of the energy equation, and if we wanted to completely get rid of fossil fuel from our energy economy, it would require much more metal. The pie chart below was created using data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. As you can see,...

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Biden Announces Opposition to Alaskan Pebble Mine, What Does it Mean for Minnesota?

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden has declared his opposition to the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska, which would mine copper, molybdenum, gold, and critical rare earths elements. Biden announced his administration would stop the mine, according to the Anchorage Daily News.  Biden's announcement is bad news for Minnesotans who support copper-nickel mining in Northern Minnesota, because like the proposed Twin Metals Minnesota mine, the Obama Administration preemptively struck down the Pebble Mine without a fair, scientific review. Biden claims that the Obama administration's decision to preempt the Pebble Mine was based on science, but this could not possibly be true. Rather than...

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Anti-Mining Special Interest Groups Are Trying to Kill Coal To Stop Mining in Minnesota

Yesterday the Minneapolis Star Tribune featured an article discussing how Minnesota Power, an investor owned electric utility in northern Minnesota, was relieved that the state's iron ore mines were starting production back up after being idled due to low demand as a result of the pandemic. The families of 1,700 miners are also relieved the mines are reopening because the wages paid by Minnesota's iron mines are some of the highest in the state. But these jobs are at risk of leaving if it becomes too expensive to mine in Minnesota, and affordable electricity plays a big part in that equation. As...

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How much metal would a Minnesota Green New Deal require?

There is an interesting paradox among liberal environmentalists. One the one hand, they want a Minnesota Green New Deal where all the electricity in the state is provided by a combination of wind turbines, solar panels, and battery storage. On the other hand, they oppose mining for copper, nickel, cobalt, and other metals needed to build these energy sources, even though Minnesota has some of the largest undeveloped reserves of these metals in the world. Today, we'll conduct a rough estimate of how much metal would be needed to be completely reliant on wind, solar, and battery storage for electricity generation. Assumptions It's important...

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